Regardless of a current wobble within the early weeks of the brand new season, it has largely been a vastly spectacular previous few years for West Ham United beneath supervisor David Moyes, with the east Londoners having secured European qualification in successive campaigns as a marker of their exceptional resurgence.
A key determine in that rise has been centre-back colossus, Craig Dawson, with the no-nonsense, old-school defender having been an extremely constant presence within the facet following his understated, mortgage arrival from Watford again in the summertime of 2020.
Whereas not the glamour identify that Irons supporters had been seemingly hoping for on the time, the 32-year-old has since emerged as one thing of a cult hero for the London Stadium outfit since then, having seen his short-term transfer made everlasting for simply £2m final summer season.
That has confirmed an actual discount worth for the 6 foot 2 “warrior” – as dubbed by Moyes – such has been his impression in current occasions, because the £42.5k-per-week titan has gone on to rack up 77 appearances in all competitions so far.
The £2.7m-rated gem notably proved integral within the membership’s surge to the Europa League final 4 final season, along with his shows having seen him included within the UEFA Staff of the Season because of this, alongside teammate Declan Rice.
Such glowing kind noticed the previous West Bromwich Albion brute lauded as merely “irreplaceable” by pundit Noel Whelan, with the ex-Leeds United striker additionally suggesting that the Englishman was one thing of “dangerman” because of his risk in an attacking sense – with 9 objectives to his identify in all competitions so far.
Was it the appropriate determination to maintain Dawson?
His significance to the facet has additionally been illustrated within the early weeks of the brand new marketing campaign having made an on the spot impression following his return from harm, serving to the Hammers safe a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers final day out on what was his first league begin of the season.
That show – which noticed him lauded by the aforementioned Rice for his “solidity, coronary heart, and need” – had demonstrated that Moyes and co had dodged a bullet in not letting Dawson depart within the current window, with the central defender having been shut to a transfer to Molineux on deadline day, earlier than the membership pulled the plug.
Though there should still be doubts over his future along with his present deal set to run out subsequent summer season, his immense service over the previous two years has ensured that West Ham actually did strike gold with that astute £2m deal.